Google is getting closer to its ‘for everything, there’s Google’ kind of thing. The company, in an ongoing spree of sorts, has introduced three new features in the latest update of Google Maps in India. These three features are – a redesigned Explore tab, a new For You section and Offers section for restaurants.
The Explore tab has been redesigned for ease of access by providing a richer visual browsing experience. The tab shows seven options (or categories), namely, Restaurants, Petrol Pumps, ATMs, Offers, Shopping, Hotels, and Medical Shops. The user can easily explore these locations in their neighborhood through the tab. Unlike earlier versions of Maps, the new update is focused to be more assistive to Indian users. Top Suggestions are automatically updated in respective cities with the help of machine learning, in each of the categories mentioned earlier.
For those who plan for a trip in advance, Maps now provides a way to explore neighborhoods in any Indian city just by entering the name of the city in the search bar. This way users can see the top restaurants, shopping centers and other spots in that city. Also, users can now explore different places (or neighborhoods) in their city by clicking on the arrow next to ‘Explore Nearby’.
To provide a more personalized experience, there have been some changes in the ‘For You’ section. Users can now get personalized recommendations for places to visit including hotels and restaurants based on the places they’ve visited in the past (or browsed through the application). These recommendations utilize the “Your Match” score depending upon your reviews and places the user has visited and liked.
Along with this, you can now follow a business (for example, a particular cafe) for getting updates of that particular business. These updates will appear in the ‘For You’ section.
Offers and discounts on Google Maps
The Offers feature is something new to Maps. Google is launching this feature in a partnership with EazyDiner. EazyDiner is a Delhi-based restaurant booking service that provides discounts, and has raised close to $13 Million in funding till date. It currently operates in a few Indian cities and Dubai. It has a range of restaurants to decide from as well as provides easy cancellation feature for table bookings.
“We’re launching this feature in partnership with EazyDiner, where you can now find offers for over 4,000 restaurants and hope to add many more categories and partners soon,” said Google Maps Directors, Krish Vitaldevara and Chandu Thota, in a blog post.
This new feature will provide restaurant discounts and offers for Maps users. And through EazyDiner, reservations and bookings can be made directly through the application. This option will be available in the Explore tab. Initially, the Offers feature will be available in 11 major Indian cities. Have to say, this does give EazyDiner an edge over Zomato, the more dominant player in the restaurant discovery domain.
Google has hinted in its blog that the company will be adding more categories in the Offers section. As of now, the Offers feature will only be focused on providing discounts on restaurant booking.